My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Dec 4

Driving in the dark

Category: Creative Flash

So, just after the saying of Grace, with people sitting around a table of lit candles, poured wine glasses, a turkey bigger than any infant child, and all the foods that would accompany such a turkey, he left the table. It seemed a little odd, perhaps, to leave just after the prayer, and just before the meal, to leave without a word, but stranger things have happened. He’s a writer, he’s eccentric. Besides, he’d be back, right? Where could he possibly go? Then, they heard the front door, the open and the close. The starting of a car, headlights dancing around the living-room, tires screeching down the driveway, he was gone. He was so absolutely fucking gone.

Right now, in the car, stereo blasting angry songs, and sad songs, sung by sad, dead people, he’s driving. He’s driving nowhere in particular, he’s just driving. He’s driving to think, and not think, the cold night air hitting his face through open windows. The cold air feels so good, it burns his skin, wakes him up. He’s really not sure where he’s going, but he’s not going back there, back to his lifeless life. He’s not going to change his mind, slam on the brakes, turn the car around. He’d rather pull a gun and put a bullet in his mouth, it’d be better than what’s behind him. Back there’s another sort of death. People can die of boredom, and tedium, and frustration, and loneliness. They’re just as sure to kill as a bullet, but they’re slower, more quiet-like. They kill by inches and years, not with a click and a bang, and pieces of your face scattered around the room. Who needs that sort mess anyhow? He’d feel bad for the poor fuck who’d have to clean him off the ceiling. No, he’s not going back. He just doesn’t fit, never has. Back there, he’s alone in a crowd. He always feels like he ought to be somewhere else. He’s thinking about wheres just now, driving through the cold dark.

He thinks about God as he’s sitting at a red light across from some church. He could stop by, see if anyone’s home, see if God’s home. God probably wouldn’t answer the door though, God never answers anything. We’re all just solicitors trying to sell Him something, trying to get Him to buy our prayers. Keep me safe. Make me happy. I’ll be good, really, I promise. He’s heard it all before, He’s not interested. The light turns green, gas pedal hits the floor, the car doesn’t stop, not here.

He could go to some bar, get shit-faced with all the cash in his wallet, sleep it off back at the car, but he’s done that before. Liquor’s a Goddamn fucking blast, until it isn’t. Until you wake up enough mornings feeling like you got dragged under a truck, genuinely wishing that truck had finished you off. Bars are just somewheres that usually lead to nowheres. At least, that’s been his experience. He needs something different, something he’s never found in a shot glass, or a church, or behind the door he left before he got in his car and sped away.

He could leave it all, the whole fuckin’ city, the entire fuckin’ state. He could get on a bus, drive cross-country. He’s always thought about chucking it all, going somewhere quiet, somewhere where no one would think to find him. Maybe he’d write postcards a year or two later, “Hi, I’m not dead. I’m just in Casper, Wyoming.” He’d find a little house to rent, maybe a small apartment. He’d do odd jobs around town, shoveling snow, serving coffee in some diner, anything that pays anything. He’d read at night, listen to music as he falls asleep in a place that’s his own. He’d be alone, but not entirely lonely. He’d have a blank canvas, he could create a different reality. He’d have blank pages on which to write the story of him. He thinks about ditching his car at the bus station, a gesture that says, “Well, I’m out, it’s been real.” He looks up at the stars, wonders what those stars look like in Casper.

There’s a girl though, there’s a girl. At another red light, another stop, he thinks about her. He loves her, she’s always in his head somewhere. She’s really where he’s wanted to be all night, not driving around. He’s just afraid, afraid that it’s too much to hope for, being with her. Still, he could drive across town, he could go to her. He could tell her about the dinner, and the door closing behind him. He could tell her he loves her completely, how much she feels like home to him. He could hold her close, tell her she’s beautiful. She is beautiful, he can’t look up at the night sky and find a single star as beautiful as her. He could tell her he wants to fall asleep with her in his arms, that he wants to wake up in the morning and see her soft brown eyes smiling at him. He could kiss her in the moonlight, tell her he just wants to stay with her awhile, how ever long awhile might be. He could go to her and see what happens.

The light goes green, tires spin against pavement. He thinks to himself, “Well, fuck it, Casper isn’t going anywhere.”


6 Comments so far

  1. concrete_bubble (kelly) December 4th, 2009 12:34 pm

    I like. 🙂 Good ending!

  2. Tonia Brown December 4th, 2009 12:42 pm

    That was beautiful. Thanks for it. I have read many a thing you have written and I must say this is by far my favorite.

  3. josh December 6th, 2009 2:51 pm

    See, I told you it’s good.

  4. Kara December 9th, 2009 12:13 am

    this is amazing writing. too bad you don’t write novels, i wanted to keep reading

  5. Dani February 7th, 2010 2:43 am

    He should be with her. If she makes him happy then, why not go to her and see what happens? Syepping into the fear of rejection is near to impossible…bwleive me I know:)

  6. Tess April 2nd, 2020 5:18 pm

    You’re right, “God never answers anything.” But I know God is there. I’ve been testing the universe, testing you. Trying to see if you’ll answer me back. You never answer anything. But maybe one day, I’ll know you’re there.